Station Name: THORNTON


[Source: Chris Armour]

Date opened: 14.10.1878
Location: On the south side of Thornton Road
Company on opening: Great Northern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 13.5.1955
Date closed completely: 28.6.1955
Company on closing: British Railways (North Eastern Region)
Present state: Demolished - Thornton Primary School has now been built on the site. The school gateposts once served the station and the pedestrian entrance is still visible, although out of use and heavily overgrown. The concrete station nameboad has been preserved in the Bradford Industrial Museum.
County: Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: SE094327
Date of visit: October 2005

Notes: The line from Bradford to Thornton via Queensbury was opened as a joint venture between the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and the Great Northern Railway between 1876 and 1878. Once out of Bradford, the line was mostly rural and necessitated the construction of many earthworks, viaducts and tunnels. Its hilly nature earned it the nicknames of 'the Alpine route' or 'the switchback' from its loyal drivers.

When it opened in 1878, Thornton station was the terminus of the line from Bradford. The connection with Halifax came in 1879 and Keighley in 1884.

The station had an island platform reached from the road by a 50 ft iron bridge. This was typical GN construction and was also used at Clayton and Denholme stations.

It was situated at the top of a deep valley and was reached from Queensbury via the magnificent 13 arch Thornton viaduct, a listed structure which is still in existence and is soon to be reopened as a public footpath.

Like Great Horton, Thornton had a busy passenger service, but was more used for its goods facilities. It has a stone warehouse measuring 130 ft by 50 ft and handled coal, wood, livestock and animal feeds.

After the war, Thornton won the best kept station award on several occasions. Goods services ceased in 1965, after which the line was lifted

In May 2005 a section of the railway was brought back to life as the Great Northern Trail. The first section of the new trail runs from Cullingworth to Harecroft Eventually the new trail will cover a distance of 10 kilometres between Queensbury and Cullingworth but it will be five years before it is completed.

The new trail is availbale for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and is also suitable for wheelchairs. The section of the trail already open includes two viaducts including the listed Hewenden Viaduct near Cullingworth

To see the other stations on the Halifax - Bradford - Keighley lines click on the station name: Halifax St. Pauls, Pellon,
Halifax North Bridge, Ovenden, Holmfield, Queensbury, Clayton, Great Horton, Horton Park, Manchester Road, St. Dunstan's, Bradford Adolphus Street, Denholme, Wilsden, Cullingworth & Ingrow East


An RTCS rail tour at Thornton Station in 1964

The site of Thornton Station in August 2005

Photo by David Spencer

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Chris Armour]

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